NEW DELHI : Telecom Commission has approved almost all the TRAI’s Recommendation on In-flight Connectivity in its meeting on 1st May 2018. With this, the airlines and the TSPs can offer voice and data services in India Airspace once an aircraft reaches an altitude of 3000 metres. It is expected that it will take 3 to 4 months to operationalise the service.
Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Civil Aviation has welcomed the Telecom Commission’s approval for offering in-flight connectivity within Indian airspace. He said that the decision would enable flyers to avail data and voice services during flights over Indian airspace and the government will now work towards creating the license framework for a special category of service providers called ‘In-flight connectivity provider.
He said that these developments mean that airlines are now equipped to bring dramatic, yet cost effective, enhancements to the passenger experience –with passengers ordering products from their phones and tablets and arranging to have them delivered to their homes, or the hotel on arrival at their destination. He said that connectivity to the ground means cabin crews can help passengers to change their onward transit plans to accommodate for changes to their flight, while they are still in the air.
In line with earlier decision of Committee of Secretaries, In-Flight voice and data services shall be provided through Indian Satellites or through satellites approved by Department of Space for communication purposes, with gateways in India.
A separate category of licensee called In-Flight Connectivity Provider shall be created with a token license fee of Re. 1. Such facility of voice and data connectivity shall also be extended to ships and other moving vehicles (Earth Stations in Motion).